Tip Tuesday: More infrastructure, more choice

Abiquo’s technology agnostic approach means more choice and flexibility and with the latest edition of the Abiquo software; Abiquo v2.6 we now support more compute and storage than ever before. Allowing cloud providers to get maximum value from their existing investments, or tailor services for their customers.

choice

                                                              More choice with Abiquo v2.6                                                                   

Abiquo v2.6 supports:

Public Cloud
AWS EC2 with VPC

Hypervisors (Compute)
VMWare vSphere 5.0, 5.1, 5.5
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012
Citrix XenServer 6.2.0
KVM CentOS/RHEL 6.4
Oracle VM Server for x86 V3.2.1

Storage
ANY hypervisor datastore
ANY NFS storage for self service storage (external volumes and persistent VM’s)
generic iSCSi supports ANY iSCSi storage
integrated iSCSi (for more storage self service) supports
NetApp ONTAP 7, ONTAP 8.1.3, ONTAP 8.2
Nexenta NexentStor 3.0.4, 3.1.3
LVM CentOS/RHEL 5 or 6

Download Abiquo v2.6 and see how much choice you have with Abiquo.

A quick look at the Abiquo user interface makes it easy for our users to meter and charge for compute, storage and network resources of various types.

Dashboard

Abiquo’s interactive user interface makes metering easy!

But did you know that you can meter your customers’ usage at a more granular level?

Lets take a look at the levels at which you can meter usage with Abiquo:

Hypervisor Type
Abiquo tracks which machine is deployed on which hypervisor, so for those for which you have to pay a license fee, like VMware ESX, you can charge the customer appropriately. Where you have a lower cost of ownership, such as KVM, you could reduce the charge. You can use this, and the reporting of it, to enhance sales engagement and advise your customer of the best platform for the workload.

Here is a list of the hypervisor technologies that Abiquo supports.

Reserved Machine
Abiquo lets you dedicate a physical machine to an Enterprise, creating what you might call a “virtual private cloud” in your shared infrastructure. You can combine this with dedicated storage tiers and even physical networks, but more of that another time. You can also let customers choose whether to use these dedicated machines or a shared resource, and meter for the usage of those reserved machines.

Anti-Affinity 
Using anti-affinity (preventing selected virtual machines from running on the same physical machine) reduces the efficiency of your platform, so you may want to charge extra for it. In a self-service environment your customers can configure their own anti-affinity rules through Abiquo Layers, which works on all our supported hypervisors, not just VMware. We meter use of Anti-affinity layers so you can charge for it.

VM Template Cost Codes
In the App Library template configuration you can assign cost codes to templates. These are configured through the pricing screens. You can then use these for all kinds of billing and reporting purposes; charging by OS, maybe just for customers with a managed service; charging by application, if your templates contain pre-configured applications; charging for use of Chef, for example.

 Have a look at the Abiquo Wiki for more information on clever charging!

Contact us here if you have any questions.

Many organisations are wary of the agility that comes with cloud services and rightly so! They feel that they will no longer have control over users who now have access  to self service, outside the constraints of normal IT controls. Abiquo helps you deliver those cloud services, so that your users have the benefits of self service, whilst allowing you to remain in complete control.

Resource limits can be set for all of your cloud resources (compute, memory, storage and networking) for each cloud tennant. Those same resource limits can also be applied at a more granular Virtual DataCenter, or physical data center level, if required. Meaning that the cloud provider remains in complete control of anyone who can using that resources and where in the infrastructure those resources can be used. All of Abiquo’s resource limits contain a hard limit, that cannot be exceeded and a soft limit that can generate warnings or alerts to both the end user, or the administrator, or even the sales guy.

 

                                                                                    Abiquo Resource Limits

With v2.6, Abiquo has extended its capabilities to include AWS EC2. The same control of resources now applies to the public cloud, with the cloud administrator controlling how much resource can be used in each AWS region, and therefore controlling how much can be spent. Here are the limits you can set in an Amazon Virtual Datacenter in Abiquo:

                                                Setting resource limits in your Amazon environment with Abiquo

 

Contact Abiquo now to take control of your cloud resources!

Whilst the debate on public, private, or hybrid cloud continues, it is clear that we should actually be thinking about the application itself, rather than defining the platform that it runs on. There are very clear application use cases for backends sat on a private cloud and for the use of public cloud for front end services or short term bursting. It is therefore vital that any cloud service is able to easily build hybrid applications.

Here at Abiquo, we have recently extended our supported infrastructure to include Amazon Web Services and additional hypervisors such as Hyper-V 2012 and Oracle VM. Choosing AWS for our first foray into public cloud was a no brainer. First of all it is clearly the market leader in this space, but secondly, and probably more importantly was that Abiquo is already built on the same networking concepts as AWS. This not only makes an integration “easy”, but also means that once integrated it will be easy to connect the private and public infrastructures making the utopia of a hybrid application possible. To briefly explain:

An Abiquo Virtual Datacenter (VDC) is defined by a datacenter (usually a physical location) and a single hypervisor technology. It gives the cloud users a defined set of resources, in a known location and on a known infrastructure platform. Within that VDC the resources can include three different network types:

1. Public networks, typically used for true public IP addresses

2. Private networks – isolated networks existing only in the cloud platform

3. External networks – allowing connectivity outside of the cloud platform to the corporate network and other services

When adding AWS resources, Abiquo continues to use exactly the same concepts, only a VDC is now defined by the AWS region. Within the VDC Abiquo is using Amazon Virtual Private Cloud http://aws.amazon.com/vpc/ which aligns perfectly with Abiquo’s existing Private Networks. In both of these networks, because they are isolated, you have control over the IP address scheme that is used. Connect them up via a VPN and suddenly the possibilities for your application are endless. AWS Elastic IP’s are of course, the equivalent of Abiquo Public IP’s and the functionality is very similar, with the Abiquo UI making the purchase and provisioning of an AWS Elastic IP quick and easy.

The Abiquo UI not only simplifies the provisioning of new instances into AWS VPC’s, but it also provides a single view of the private and public resource, so you can see all of the components of your hybrid application in a single view.

 

Abiquo 3.1 public cloud screen

Click to zoom

Abiquo UI: A single view of public and private cloud resources

Changes-300x300

Over the last decade the internet has evolved from being a collection of individual static content driven websites to an integrated eco-system of services and solutions.  In 10 years many businesses have evolved from simply having a website, to completely operating their business via multiple always on and available , ‘cloud’ based  resources.

It’s more than a bunch of fancy ecommerce sites – Service Providers are developing and delivering solutions that offer up flexible infrastructure, platforms of all shapes and sizes and rich, integrated applications – I think its fair to say that the cloud OS hasn’t just arrived – it’s thriving.  There are a growing number of Service Providers in this marketplace  but it is already dominated by one solution – Amazon Web Services.

They are all competing to deliver the cloud OS to the customer, trying to find a niche trying to offer a better deal.  But there’s a big difference in Service Providers who open their minds and work with Amazon, to those who choose to compete against them.

Amazon is in the position that Microsoft was with the desktop OS in the late 90’s, just imagine developing a service or application yourself back then and choosing NOT working with standards based around the market leader.

Your documents would be formatted differently, it would be tricky to share data and working with other organisations would take up more time than need be.  You would find most people would actually choose what everyone else does – services that interact and exploit the market leading service – because for both the consumer and business, it seems the safer bet and keeps them employable.

Successful (now legacy) IT vendors built their services around the Microsoft marketplace, not ignore it, simply because it offered more customer opportunities to exploit.

Now apply that to delivering a cloud OS or application today – Service Providers that are developing their own services that do not integrate with or work with the market leader are missing a huge opportunity and are likely to have limited success – at best they will probably remain a niche player in the market.

We have just launched Abiquo v2.6, which allows organisations to ‘connect up’ their existing private infrastructure and cloud resources with Amazon AWS. Abiquo networking concepts are immediately aligned with Amazon Virtual Private Cloud networks, and what is traditionally seen as a major obstacle for enterprises no longer exists – this means that hybrid cloud, and more importantly hybrid applications, become real possibilities for enterprises and Service Providers alike.

Service Providers can now leverage from the Amazon infrastructure themselves, allow enterprises to control and manage different cloud resources as if they were their own and make it simpler to place the right workload or data in the right place.
Those Service Providers that choose to play, integrate, coexist, leverage and profit in that marketplace, where millions of enterprises have already spent real dollars, will stand a much better chance of success – and we are keen to help them achieve that.

Cloud Management vendor Abiquo releases v2.6 claiming to help service providers profit in the face of Amazon and VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service

Cloud management software provider, Abiquo, has today released v2.6 of its award winning cloud management platform – a single platform for service providers and enterprises to manage and control their entire private, public and hybrid cloud infrastructure.

The new release now allows service providers and enterprises to integrate and manage public cloud service Amazon EC2 with their existing cloud infrastructure from a single interface layer and console. Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 and Oracle hypervisors are also supported within the new release, along with support for NFS managed storage solutions.

Other features include:

  • Enhanced APIs: it’s now quicker and easier for service providers and enterprises to develop new cloud services and integrate them into their existing cloud offerings
  • Simplified multiple backup: a consistent, simple interface is now provided for users to set multiple backup schedules and stay informed on backup status – no matter what the underlying technology
  • Simplified workflow: business administrators can now remain in control of resources they consume, whether public or private. This can also be integrated to existing business workflow systems and email approval processes

Ultimately, service providers and enterprises using Abiquo v2.6 can finally take advantage of public cloud offerings, whilst benefitting from the control of their existing on-premise solutions.

A clear vision and direction  

Abiquo has made solid progress during the last two quarters. It announced a new round of investment in April 2013, adding Oxford Capital Partners to its existing investors. It has also just appointed a new CEO – entrepreneur and former NTRglobal and Solsoft Chairman and CEO, Gilles Samoun.

Newly appointed Samoun comments: “With v2.6, Abiquo will become the bridge between Amazon and VMware; between the public and private cloud. We now enable customers to move to one and provision the other, allowing them to utilise both Amazon and VMware seamlessly through one console and single interface.

“We have all seen the way that the market is evolving and Amazon not only holds the lion’s share of the enterprise market but wants to increase it by challenging VMware. So, now we enable Abiquo users to utilise both VMware and Amazon seamlessly and with ease. My belief is that we should let Amazon and VMware fight it out, whilst at the same time, we can be the saviour of their customers.”

With the recent appointment of Gilles to the company, Colin Watts, Investment Director at Oxford Capital Partners comments: “Gilles is more attuned with the needs of a start-up company and is an industry veteran. He is the best person to move Abiquo forward in this new stage of its growth. He has some provocative ideas and we believe in his vision for the company.”

Along with Gilles’s vision for the company, another key appointment is that of Ian Finlay as VP of Products. Formerly Group Chief Information Officer at Claranet – an award-winning Abiquo customer and Western Europe’s largest independent Managed Services provider, Ian brings a unique insight to Abiquo having successfully implemented and benefitted from its cloud management platform whilst at Claranet.

Sharing Gilles sentiments Ian adds: “Abiquo 2.6 delivers new opportunities for service providers to create new service offerings. Our integration with Amazon AWS lets service providers embrace commodity cloud services, whilst adding value with their hosted solutions and existing management services. For large enterprises, the ability to manage resources on multiple on-premise systems and Amazon through one interface provides security, control and insight across a complex infrastructure landscape.”

Looking to the future Ian states: “Our roadmap is clearly focussed on helping service providers create easy to deploy, easy to manage and easy to sell cloud solutions; embracing the commodity cloud services their customers demand rather than having to compete with them. For large enterprises, having one point to integrate with back-office systems makes Abiquo a compelling choice for a cloud management platform”

Click here to learn more about how v2.6 can benefit your business